Liverpool’s title celebrations put on hold as football is forced to take a back seat

The current Premier League season already had a strange feel to it before the widespread outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Liverpool were runaway leaders, playing at a level that no-one else in the league could rival, the rest of the field left fighting over the scraps.

Liverpool’s title victory seemed inevitable, a matter of time – as reflected by the football betting odds at the time. But now everything has been thrown into chaos, with all Premier League matches suspended for the time being. Liverpool were just two wins away from sealing the title, and now it’s unclear when the season will be finished, with the latest government information suggesting that the peak of the number of those infected with coronavirus is still some weeks away.

It means that this season of excellence for Liverpool, which had already begun to stutter with exits from the FA Cup to Chelsea and the Champions League to Atlético Madrid, has no clear ending in sight. The winning feeling which had enveloped the club for so many months earlier in the campaign is now nowhere to be found, the Reds having suffered four defeats in their last six matches.

The postponement of fixtures because of the outbreak does not take away from Liverpool’s stellar performances in the earlier weeks and months of the season. They became a winning machine under <strong>Jürgen Klopp</strong>, turning draws into wins every time without fail. But the coronavirus crisis has amplified the winding down the Reds have shown in their performances – the lack of spark and fire which is such an important part of their footballing identity.

The postponement of fixtures because of the outbreak does not take away from Liverpool’s stellar performances in the earlier weeks and months of the season. They became a winning machine under Jürgen Klopp, turning draws into wins every time without fail. But the coronavirus crisis has amplified the winding down the Reds have shown in their performances – the lack of spark and fire which is such an important part of their footballing identity.

Football, as a whole, has been forced to take a back seat in light of this global pandemic, and Klopp released a statement reminding Liverpool fans of the unimportance of football in the face of such difficult circumstances. The club’s first league title in 30 years will now almost certainly be delayed, and will almost certainly play out in a very strange, surreal atmosphere.

There have even been suggestions that the current league season could be voided, but that would be a drastic measure, and one that would have significant legal ramifications for the Premier League. Liverpool’s party had already been dampened somewhat by their recent defeats, and now they find themselves in something of a limbo, waiting to discover if they will even get the chance to finish this most remarkable of seasons.

It remains unclear when the Premier League will resume, as football braces itself for an extended period in the shadows while the greater issue of the coronavirus is dealt with.

Of course, this delay does not detract from Liverpool’s supremacy this season, but it will detract from the celebrations when they eventually come. There had always been a sense among Reds supporters that their dominance this season was all too good to be true, that some kind of hitch was bound to occur along the way. But no-one could have anticipated this, and in these uncertain times Liverpool’s title success will play out in the strangest of circumstances.

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